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A CD single that begins and ends with perhaps my least favorite Blind Guardian track is not likely to evince much sympathy, especially when it is this much of a fucking ripoff. Yes, The Bard's Song (In the Forest) is nothing more than a studio rehash of the original from 1992's Somewhere Far Beyond, joined with three separate live performances of THE SAME SONG. Add to this a video performance of the same precise track from a Stuttgart live, and the fleecing is complete. This time I can say with honesty that I was not taken by these charlatans; instead my former roommate ordered the CDS and was so pissed off with the contents that he just gave it to me.
This new studio version of "The Bard's Song (In the Forest)" is indeed superior to the original, if mainly through the modern production values that are used to flesh out the acoustics, rendering it good and loud across your speakers. The lyrics are still dopey and self-referential, but even I will laud it as the superior version of the song found anywhere. As for the lives, there are only minor differences in the performances which certainly do not warrant their inclusion on the same release. For fuck's sake, can't we just leave this baited obsession to the bootleggers? Sure, the crowd may chant and clap at different volumes, after all it's three different countries (Milano, Madrid and Munich). The crowd actually does quite a lot of the performance, as usual. And "The Bard's Song (In the Forest)" is the point of their set in which the lighters and cheers come out and I go to the bar for another drink. Got a long drive home! As for the video...it's just another live performance.
You would have to be insane, or simply ignorant of the contents of this CDS to own it. If you fancy Hansi and the boys with a Teen Beat-level of passion, then I'm sure I could find this in among your private stash. As I always say, no one is forced at gunpoint to purchase this or anything from Blind Guardian (or any other band), but it's a total waste of product. As a tribute to just how needless this is, I will now take it outside and run it over with the car, before placing the remains in the recycle bin.
In anticipation of the long-overdue Blind Guardian live album, the band has released a single of “The Bard’s Song (In the Forest).” Wait a minute...this song was released on the SOMEWHERE FAR BEYOND album in 1992, and the band released their live album TOKYO TALES ten years ago.
Well, actually, ten years later, this is a new studio version of “The Bard’s Song,” and another live album is on the way from the Bards. Kinda strange, isn’t it?
First up on this single is, of course, the newly recorded version of “The Bard’s Song.” Comparing the new recording to the original album version, there is not a whole lot of a variance. The most obvious difference is that the production has been cleaned up to the flawless level of the Guardian’s latest albums, and that Hansi’s current vocal style is more refined, with better pronunciation. In addition, the tone has changed from the full, acoustic of the original to more of a minstral-ish, Renaissance-faire kind of sound. It’s impossible to screw up such an incredible song, and, like the original, the new recording is still awesome.
In addition to the new recording, we also have three different live versions recorded on various stops on their 2002 A NIGHT AT THE OPERA tour. The sound quality on each live version is perfectly recorded and mixed, and really captures the live essence behind the band. While I question the utility of releasing 3 different live versions of the same song, it is interesting to hear the differences in reactions from the international audiences. My personal favourite among the three is the Munich version, because of the nearly overpowering crowd response. Not to be outdone, the Spaniards at the Madrid show go wild as well. It just goes to show that everybody loves “The Bard’s Song,” which is why Blind Guardian fans will snap this one up.
The disc also contains a bonus video of the song played live at Stuttgart. I am sure that the video is very cool, even though the homosexuality that is Quicktime prevents it from playing on my computer. Overall, while I enjoy the new version of “The Bard’s Song,” I still prefer the original. Also, I’m a guy who likes complete concerts, so there is not much need for me to own this release when I have a dozen Blind Guardian bootlegs already. Still, I enjoyed this release, and I look forward to hearing the upcoming 2-disc live album.
“The Bard’s song”, originally featured on the “Somewhere far beyond”- album, is the all-time fave of Blind-Guardian-fans. Now the band has rerecorded this ballad and released it as a single.
The slight changes in the song are clearly audible – it has become somewhat slower in certain parts and is more folkloresque than before.
The guys from Blind Guardian have already gathered some experience in rearranging their songs. The “Forgotten Tales” album provided a new version of “the Lord of the Rings” for example (another ballad from Blind Guardian). Whereas “the Lord of the Rings” gained a lot of expressivity and emotionality by rearrangement, the quality change in “the Bard’s song” is rather minor. In fact, it is hard to decide which version is better, often it depends on the moment.
The single features three different live-versions of the song plus another one as a pc-compatible multimedia track. The listener will become aware of the fans’ different reactions to the song, depending on country and town where the concert was played in.
But here the following question arises:
Do we really need that many versions of a single song? There has already been a live version of “the Bard’s song” on the “Forgotten Tales”-album and another one is featured on the upcoming live album. In addition to that there are three audio-live-versions on the single.
Together with the two non-live-versions we have the same song seven times!
Every fan must decide for himself how to answer the question posed above.
My own answer is “no”. After having listened to the whole single a few times, the live versions quickly became boring. Anyway, the song itself deserves a rating in the mid- or even upper 90-regions. On the other hand the single-release altogether does not – simply because it’s too repetitive.
Bard's Song -In The Forest is undeniably a Blind Guardian classic. One of the songs that _has to_ appear in ever concert they do. If there is one song on Somewhere Far Beyond that should appear as a single it is definetly this. On the other hand Somewhere Far Beyond was released 1992...
While fans are yearning for the forthcoming live album it is indeed a nice move to keep them satisfied. But for myself at least this appears as completely useless release. There is a new studio version of In The Forest, and it's a damn nice song, you can't escape it. But I would stick to the original. The new version shows us improved sounds and some differences in the play, but also kind of Hansi I am not too interested of. First of all, his accent really shows here quite fuckin' alot. It is an enigma to me how it doesn't annoy me at all on the SFB version but here it does. On the other hand, it doesn't annoy me in the live versions of the song.
Yeah, there are actually three live versions of this song, band does a fine job in them all. I guess the point was to show how different the audience takes the song in the different countries, and it's indeed true that the audience acts quite differently in the versions. It appears that band gives audience more room depending of the audience's performance, which is nice. :)
There is also a video track about the song.
Summarize.. summarize... Quite damn useless release, but the song is good, the band is good, the cover artwork is good.. And so on...